SCOPE Rule 101: SCOPE. These rules govern all proceedings in the mock trial competition. The only rules of evidence in the competition are those included in these rules. Rule 102: OBJECTIONS. The court shall not consider an objection that is not contained in these rules. If counsel makes an objection not contained in these rules, counsel responding to the objection must point out to the judge, citing Rule 102 that the objection is beyond the scope of the listed objections. However, if counsel responding to the objection does not point out to the judge the application of this rule, the court may exercise its discretion and consider such objection. 2.RELEVANCY Rule 201: RELEVANCY. Only relevant testimony and evidence may be presented. This means that the only physical evidence and testimony allowed is that which tends to make a fact which is important to the case more or less probable than the fact would be without the evidence. However, if the probative value of the relevant evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger that the
2016-2017 Mock Trial Case –Final Version with 2/7/2017 edits 28evidence will cause unfair prejudice, confuse the issues, or result in undue delay or a waste of time, the court may exclude it. This may include testimony, physical evidence, and demonstrations that do not relate to time, event or person directly involved in the litigation. Example: Photographs present a classic problem of possible unfair prejudice. For instance, in a murder trial, the prosecution seeks to introduce graphic photographs of the bloodied victim. These photographs would be relevant because, among other reasons, they establish the victim’s death and location of the wounds. At the same time, the photographs present a high danger of unfair prejudice, as they could cause the jurors to feel incredible anger and a desire to punish someone for the vile crime. In other words, the photographs could have an inflammatory effect on the jurors, causing them to substitute passion and anger for reasoned analysis. The defense therefore should object on the ground that any probative value of the photographs is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to the defendant. Problems of unfair prejudice often can be resolved by offering the evidence in a matter that retains the probative value, while reducing the danger of unfair prejudice. In this example, the defense might stipulate to the location of the wounds and the cause of death. Therefore, the relevant aspects of the photographs would come in, without the unduly prejudicial effect.Rule 202: CHARACTER. Evidence about the character of a party or witness may not be introduced unless the person’s character is an issue in the case or unless the evidence is being offered to show the truthfulness or untruthfulness of the party or witness. Evidence of character to prove the person’s propensity to act in a particular way is generally not admissible in a civil case.In a criminal case, the general rule is that the prosecution cannot initiate evidence of the bad character of the defendant to show that he or she is more likely to have committed the crime.
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